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EA and Facebook were also in the running to buy Activision Blizzard

EA logo

In another universe it’s Activision EA Blizzard (pic: EA)

It seems Microsoft was not the only one interested in doing a deal with Activision Blizzard, with a merger with EA being one alternative.

Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard will go down as one of the most shocking video game stories ever, but would it have been more or less so if EA or Facebook had bought them instead?

Apparently, that’s what could have happened if things had gone another way, with a Bloomberg report revealing that CEO Bobby Kotick initially didn’t want to sell the company at all.

As the conversations went on with Microsoft though he started approaching other companies to see if they would offer even more, and while they didn’t it does seem they were interested.

Speaking to Venture Beat, Kotick implies that the idea of selling Activision Blizzard had been in the air for years, long before the controversy over toxic workplace conditions last year.

According to Kotick, he’d been talking to Microsoft in particular ‘over many, many years of bigger things that we could do together’.

There were also discussions with EA, but since they’re roughly the same size of company it would’ve been more a merger than an acquisition.

‘I think that even if we were to have consolidated within EA, that wouldn’t have given us what we’re going to need going forward’, said Kotick.

On the other hand, Facebook (or rather parent company Meta) is certainly big enough to have bought Activision Blizzard outright and apparently Kotick, quoted in a separate Bloomberg article, did contact them after the workplace controversy last year.

There’s no indication of why that didn’t work out, but it does seem a fairly poor fit as Facebook has no experience publishing console games and Activision Blizzard has relatively little expertise with VR titles.

The report also mentions ‘one other big company’ having been approached, but it’s not clear whether that’s EA or someone else.

FILE PHOTO: Woman holds smartphone with Facebook logo in front of a logo of Meta in this illustration picture taken October 28, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Would you have preferred Meta bought Activision Blizzard? (pic: Reuters)

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